Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson earned the NHL’s first star of the month by posting a 0.99 GAA and .967 save percentage in six January starts.
Anderson continued his early season heroics on Friday by turning aside 34 of 35 shots against Carolina, but Hurricanes backup goaltender Dan Ellis did one better in a 1-0 victory.
“Overall, we played a pretty solid defensive game,” Anderson said, according to Sportsnet’s Ian Mendes. “We just didn’t get it going offensively.”
The question now is if this is an anomaly or the start of a bigger problem for the Ottawa Senators.
Finding the back of the net hasn’t been a problem for Ottawa so far this season, but its leading scorer in 2011-12, Jason Spezza, had back surgery on Friday. At this point, a return around the April 3 trade deadline seems like the best case scenario.
That’s prompted Senators GM Bryan Murray to suggest that his team might make a move. A couple more games like this one might impact his decision.
Hurricanes captain Eric Staal netted the game-winning goal. Jeff Skinner came agonizingly close to extending his goal scoring streak to five games, but fell just short:
Fortunately, for Skinner, the Hurricanes didn’t need that goal Friday.
Senators hope Spezza will return around trade deadline
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?